Laguna Beach

Last August, a protest that started as a small “America First!” vigil grew rapidly as over 2,000 counter-protesters showed up in response to the anti-immigration rally (LA Times). The LA Times, which described the rally as “peaceful,” though “tense” and “loud,” reported a conversation between a Colombian immigrant who said labor by undocumented immigrants is responsible for low wages and a woman who accused him of hateful speech. This small instance exemplifies a larger tendency to center the debate around immigration and birthright citizenship to center around money and, more specifically, money lost to or stolen from “Americans,” leading to a cry to prioritize “America first!” The rights of undocumented immigrants, especially surrounding medical services like those used by mothers of “anchor babies,” are seen as coming directly at the financial expense of North Americans (Sun Gazette).